Las Vegas Review: Secrets on winning

The NEW welcome to Vegas Sign

Do you like the excitement, glamour and glitz of Las Vegas? Do you play slots? Like nice dinners every now and then? Yeah, me too. Since my birthday is in July, that is when I have been visiting Vegas. However, due to the pandemic, like everyone else, I have been putting my life on hold and staying home. After watching several YouTubers doing walking tours of Vegas, and seeing how things have changed so much I decided now was a good time to go visit again. I personally hate crowds, waiting in long lines, slowly walking like a dinosaur behind slow pokes. After you finally find that perfect machine you then have to wait because someone is hogging it. There are some downsides, such as needing a reservation at every restaurant, months in advance. Fortunately for me, I made reservations via the Open Table app immediately. Just so you know, there are no “shows”, most attractions are closed, and even a lot of the stores are closed as they can’t keep it sanitized. Decide where you want to eat in advance and make sure you can get reservations for your meals. Otherwise you might just be eating fast food, and that’s okay too. White Castle, In-N-Out, Chik-fil-A are all options if you don’t mind that kind of cuisine.

 

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So here are some things that made this trip extremely enjoyable, so I though I would share it with my readers. Right now there are some amazing deals going on for flights to get people to Vegas. In order for me to get my desired times, I had to use two carriers, which turned out to not be such a bad deal. I left Friday morning at 7 am, going out Spirit. Like all the airlines they charge for every extra, but that is sort of to be expected. I chose to upgrade to the front row seat after I bought my ticket and added a carry on bag. My row only had two seats with a nice armrest between us. Ample leg room and since most people are not paying for a carry on bag, people get seating quickly without holding up the aisle by shoving all their shit in the overhead compartment. Flying back Frontier was an upgraded seat as well but with a window view. I was fortunate that there was no one in the middle seat and the next seat over was a pilot flying standby/home. The trip to Vegas I watched the new movie “The Little Things” out now, starring Denzel Washington, and Jared Leto. I highly recommend downloading your latest favorite 2-3 hour movie to your device as this really does make a huge difference for trip attention deficit entertainment. Also be sure to bring a dark pair of sunglasses as there are no clouds in Vegas and it is always super bright. Dress in layers as it gets hot outside, and you get chilly in the air conditioned casinos.

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So some of the winning strategies for a great time include joining every casino member rewards program. They give you a plastic card that you put into machines. You get points that turn into cool benefits, like a free hotel room. If you are military or veteran you will get an automatic upgrade to the next tier level. MGM owns a boat load of casinos, I won’t go into all of them, but if you stay at the Mandalay Bay end, then almost all of those use the same card. I had always wanted to stay at Mandalay and had heard good things. It was no disappointment. It was super fancy and any king, queen or some level of royalty would feel right at home. What impressed me the most was my early check in, contact-less, and my smartphone digital key. Not once did I ever have to talk to an employee to get my room. Also as a safety precaution, you needed your key to operate the elevator to guest rooms. Another reason to have a rewards card is FREE DRINKS. Okay, so we all know that everything from water to alcohol is expensive to buy it yourself. Sure it is tempting, but why pay for it when you can get it free? Including your morning coffee. So rather than standing in line at Starbucks or where ever, pull out your stash of cards and shove it into a machine, drop in a $100, and a waitress magically shows up asking what you would like for a drink. I ordered coffee and gave her a $2 bill. Of course they will bring you water (normally $5 on the strip), a coke, a beer, whatever, … just as long as you are playing. Having the rewards card tells them you are a loyal patron and they want to make sure you have a good experience. Keep in mind though it takes awhile for them to make it back, to ensure you have fed enough money into the machine. Another reason to have those players cards is you are less likely to get carded. That is if you look young. I hate those stupid bracelets they put on you because they think you are too young to be there. You can’t get a players card without a drivers license.

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Keep in mind that if you stay on the strip to gamble, you will be less likely to win. We went to Fremont Street and it rained money on us the entire time. We also went to Circus Circus, where they actually have silver dollar slots where you put a real coin in and real coins come out. Playing an older machine, that is less glamour and boring will pay out more in small amounts, but more frequently. If a machine does not pay out within SIX button presses or handle bar pull, then you must CASH OUT/COLLECT and move on to another machine. You are there to make money, so don’t fall prey and just feed it money. I keep a billfold wallet full of $1 & $2 bills. The $2 bills are for anyone in the service industry. It ensures they remember me and give me good service. It is too tempting to put in a twenty and lose it in minutes. Put in a buck and hit max bet. I did that and won $99. Cash out, move along, find the next lucky machine. Never play machines by the front door, restrooms or escalators. Those machines are put there to draw you in as you wait for someone, and rarely pay out large amounts.

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In my room I was greeted with a very large room, and a welcome kit with hand sanitizer and a fancy face mask with a custom Mandalay Bay logo patch sewn on the front. The tv also converted into the airport arrival board, so you could quickly see if your flight is on time. Since my room was comp’d for free, I didn’t have an issue paying the $39 daily resort fee, for towels at a pool I couldn’t access since it was closed. WiFi that I didn’t need since my 5G is faster. They did sneak in a daily $10 beverage charge for something that I couldn’t figure out. So one night ended up still charging $59 to my American Express platinum card. I liked it there and would visit again. However, I did have an issue with my neighbors throwing a party. Screaming, laughing, shouting into their phones. By 10 I called guest services and asked for them to quiet down the partiers. They play by the 3 strike rule. If you get 3 noise complaints you are evicted that night and banned from all MGM properties. That usually gets people to call TF down. Also props to them for having a dedicated Uber/Lyft pickup drop off spot. Wandering from casino to casino it can get very confusing, so knowing your hotel has a good one is very advantageous.  NEVER take a taxi. Always tell your Uber driver you visit all the time, and please take the highway for a 5 star review. I also throw out that I was a Lyft/Uber driver years ago when it was fun and safe. Covid and all. They get it and know you can screw their rating. Btw, if you didn’t know, all passengers (PAX) also have a secret rating. If you tip well, they will score you 5 also. I have a 5 star rating as I always tip well, I don’t make them wait for me, and I promise to give them a 5 star rating. That gives me experienced drivers with a 4.9 or higher rating. I personally know of passengers who got a 1 star rating and NO driver will pick them up. Ever. Damage the car. 1 star. Throw up. 1 star. You get the picture. I get a closer, faster driver than the average Joe who just downloaded the app with no rating. I always tell them I love their car (even if I don’t), and thank them for a 5 star experience and please give me 5 stars too.

 

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So if you like to play slots, then Vegas is THE place to be. Giant floor to ceiling screens run by Microsoft Windows, to suck you in, get you to play more and pay more. In the end, most are much poorer. Due to the fact that it is run by software, tells you right away that the machines are programmed to perform certain tasks. Take. Your. Money. So how do you win? Can you be one of those winners? Yes. No. Maybe. First off, do not play a machine immediately after it has paid out big. Talk to the person who was playing. Did they win big or just insert a ticket from another machine, play a few games, and then cash out the ticket. That makes a difference. Remember in the old days, the machines were the boring BARS and lucky 7’s. They worked on a coin based system. The machine had to take in more money than it was paying out, and it was a timing mechanism, and some even worked on a scale/weight used. My personal strategy is to win a lot of low paying machines rather than going for the gold. Never play a progressive machine. Those are tied into some network where you can see in real time how much money people are losing at once. Crazy right? If you recognize your favorite character then that machine has something called royalties and or copyright licensing that needs to be paid. So stay away from Vanna, Carrie Bradshaw, the Flintstones, and definitely Homer. Yes, they look cool, they are fun and make neat sounds but you won’t likely win as much, if at all.

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Vegas has almost returned to normal. Colorado has more safety precautions, as they clean the machine after someone touches it. Not so much in Vegas. Take hand sanitizer and wash your hands a lot and you should be fine. As gross as it sounds, people still do not wash their hands after using the restroom. Remember that when you touch the SPIN button.

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If you liked this article do me a favor and like my Facebook page. I just did my first Tik Tok video on Fremont street. I have 1 follower now. Awesome. You can see it on my Instagram page.

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